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The “other” Bill C-38 – Fish habitat redux and lessons for today

24 November, 2016

Many Canadians who care about nature, democracy and Indigenous rights will recognize the name Bill C-38 – the omnibus budget bill from 2012 that dramatically weakened environmental protection under federal laws such as the Fisheries Act.

But did you know that Parliament debated another Bill C-38 almost forty years ago, led by the father of our current Fisheries Minister? The debates around this important bill from 1977 are presciently relevant today.

Trout swimming

Parliamentary debates from 1977 contain important lessons about the importance of safeguarding fish habitat in Canada. Photo: Jon Nelson.

A new law is needed to protect citizens’ voices through the charities they support

16 November, 2016

Canadian law and policy restricts the involvement of charities in public debate and public policy development – activities labeled by the Canada Revenue Agency as “political activities”. Limiting charities’ involvement in public debate and public policy development silences the voices of Canadians who rely on the charities they support to advance systemic solutions to social and environmental problems they could not achieve alone.

The federal government has recently launched an online consultation on charities’ political activities. They need to hear from you about the problems with Canada’s charitable laws, and about recommendations for reform. You can have your say online until November 25th.

Canadian law and policy restricts the involvement of charities in public debate and public policy development – activities labeled by the Canada Revenue Agency as “political activities”.

West Coast Conversations: 6 questions that define the fight against Kinder Morgan

16 November, 2016

West Coast Staff Counsel Eugene Kung sat down with Senior Communications and Engagement Specialist Alexis Stoymenoff to discuss the recent report released by the Ministerial Panel on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and tankers project. Here’s what Eugene had to say about the report, and the six key questions it poses in advance of a decision from the federal Cabinet.

Join our webinar: Protecting Charities' Free Speech - Wed. Nov. 30

Monday, November 14, 2016
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For decades, charities have given voice to the concerns of Canadians who want social progress, better health and a clean, safe environment. But the rules regarding what charities can and cannot do are open to abuse due to ambiguous guidelines and outdated laws.

The Minister of National Revenue is currently reviewing the rules under which charities can speak out in Canadian society. The Minister has launched a public consultation process, and is accepting submissions until December 9th, 2016.

The imminent federal decision on Northern Gateway…and the oil tanker ban?

14 November, 2016

As the deadline approaches for a federal decision on the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, West Coast Environmental Law Staff Counsel Gavin Smith reflects on his meetings with Ministers to talk about the Pacific north coast oil tanker ban.

West Coast Environmental Law staff counsel Gavin Smith reflects on his meetings with Ministers to talk about the Pacific north coast oil tanker ban

Your guide to Canada’s environmental law reviews

10 November, 2016

In June 2016, the government announced a sweeping review of federal environmental laws – including Canada's environmental assessment (EA) law and processes, the Fisheries Act, Navigation Protection Act, and National Energy Board. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help shape Canada’s environmental laws and to contribute to decisions that affect land, air, water and the climate.

We’ve put together a set of online resources to help you understand these important federal reviews, including key information about timelines, law reform priorities and ways you can get involved.

In June 2016, the government announced a sweeping review of federal environmental laws – including Canada's environmental assessment (EA) law and processes, the Fisheries Act, Navigation Protection Act, and National Energy Board. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help shape Canada’s environmental laws and to contribute to decisions that affect land, air, water and the climate.

Environmental enforcement falling through the cracks, BC government report shows

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VANCOUVER, BC, Coast Salish Territories – A new provincial government report shows that the Ministry of Environment needs to do more to protect British Columbians from toxins and other pollution, according to lawyers at West Coast Environmental Law.

Legislated oil tanker ban needed now, says delegation of First Nations, northerners, labour and environmental groups to federal Ministers

Friday, October 28, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA – A diverse delegation of British Columbians and First Nations travelled to Ottawa this week to meet with the Ministers responsible for formalizing a federal ban on oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s north and central coast. The First Nations, community groups, labour organizations and environmental groups urged the Ministers to move quickly to introduce legislation to entrench a comprehensive oil tanker ban in law.

When wild salmon win – toward a renewed Fisheries Act?

18 October, 2016

The Fisheries Act failed to protect an important BC coastal salmon habitat. It’s time to renew the legislation.


Young salmon rearing in the Skeena River estuary. (Photo: Tavish Campbell)

What are we going to do about Site C?

15 August, 2016

As the Site C dam project forges ahead, West Coast's RELAW Project Manager Maxine Matilpi considers difficult questions about the future of the Peace River Valley and the Indigenous communities fighting to preserve their territories.

 

 

It's the end of the day and our shared office is hot and stuffy. My colleague on the RELAW project, Georgia, asks with all seriousness, “What are we going to do about Site C?”

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